Entry 20: Ode to Basements

I’ve never had a basement before.

There was a crawl space in our townhouse condo that we’d get to by dropping down through a trap door in the closet, as if we were trying to hide from the Nazis. It was filled with wires and cables and ducts and some unidentifiable stuff (at least for me), and we only used it to store empty boxes from TVs and computers and such in case we ever wanted to move them.

(As it turned out, by the time we actually did move, we no longer had any of the electronics for which we had saved the boxes, which was just as well, because the boxes had long ago disintegrated.)

But now we have a real, honest-to-goodness basement, the kind in which you can install paneling and a wet bar, and a pool table, and a giant TV with a surround sound system that would make the whole house rumble, even if we were only watching “Beaches.”

However, we didn’t install any of that in our basement. Instead, we installed our daughter. But that’s a subject for another day.

Today I want to talk about the other part of our basement, the storage part, which is amazing, because it pretty much means that we’ll never have to make a decision to throw anything away.

It also means that we have room for a tool cabinet which I built with my own two hands and has yet to fall apart. Now we can store all our tools in one place so that we can find exactly the one we need on any given occasion, except for the fact that no one in my family will ever put a tool back after using it, so it will be pretty much as it’s always been, with tools scattered around the house, except that now it’s a bigger house, so the tools will be harder to find. Eventually, the tool cabinet will be empty.

I think a really good basement for us would be one with a built-in chute that goes directly to one of those Salvation Army stores, so as soon as we put something down there, it would be gone, which is essentially how we think of it anyway. We’ll have conversations like this:

Barbara: Have you seen the big wooden salad bowl?

Me: No, not that I’ve been looking for it.

Barbara: Did we unpack it?

Me: I don’t know.

Barbara: So it’s probably in a box in the basement.

Me: I guess.

Barbara (sighing): I’ll buy a new one.

I hasten to add that my innovative chute disposal system would just be for the storage part of our basement, not the part where our daughter lives.

See you soon.

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